Amazon now making processors for IoT smart homes

8 Jan 2016

Having already moved into practically every other arm of technology, Amazon has announced that through one of its subsidiaries it is to produce a processor for use in internet of things (IoT) devices.

The subsidiary producing the new chip for Amazon, Annapurna Labs, announced it was taking on the job of producing the line of chips called Alpine, which it says will provide high performance for UHD video streaming, secure storage, IoT and cloud applications for connected homes.

Amazon, under the guise of Amazon Web Services, agreed to purchase the Indian chip manufacturer back in January 2015, and with the help of designs from ARM, will create the Alpine chip with specs of 32-bit ARMv7 or 64-bit ARMv8.

The likelihood is that the Alpine chip will be used in tech products like Wi-Fi routers, which, Annapurna Labs says, will help overcome the current strain whereby multiple devices are needed to handle the number of connected devices we now have in our homes.

This emphasis on the home market is no surprise given that, according to Bloomberg, Intel dominates the server chip market for major companies to such an extent that it has 99pc of the market share.

Along with the sale of its chip, the Indian manufacturer has also said that it plans to release a hardware development kit for customers to tinker around with the chip to let them modify it to however they see fit, which, given people’s varying demands, is a no-brainer.

“In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted. To stay competitive, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and service providers need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software,” said Gary Szilagyi, vice-president of Annapurna Labs, in a statement.

“Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.”

Processor image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic